Monday, November 22, 2010

He Coulda Been Somebody

(Note: A little foul language in there)

I think Marlon Brando is better than you do.

It's because I didn't pay attention to the last thirty years or so of his life. More or less, The Godfather is the last movie I saw him in, and I didn't see that when it came out; too young. So no, Jor-El didn't affect my opinion much. Neither did Apocalypse Now, which isn't really a movie, and he's not really in it-- it's just a big self-indulgent mess of misplaced anger and sentiment, with Marlon doing the only sensible thing in it: cashing a check and going home.

All those bad movies were Marlon's version of an old ballplayer sitting at a card table signing autographs for a few bucks apiece. But in Brando's case, the little kids waiting to touch the hem of his shabby muu-muu were film directors clutching a few hundred grand, and the card table was a film set.  He got too big for the milieu he was in, which is very big indeed, and became Elvis or Santa Claus or something. That's not his fault. Hell, whoever made this mashup pasted it over a Beatles song that tested the outer limits of the public's appetite to adore anything, and there's Brando on the album's cover.

People should be aware of things that happened before they were born. They should pay some attention to things that matter to those younger than themselves, too. How else will you raise children properly? People should put things in context.

You can see it, if you look closely. There's this dotted line between standing on wooden floorboards yelling whispers to a house, and having a lens an inch from your nose in an artificial world with only a theoretical audience to pitch your wares to. Marlon Brando erased this line.


Chris said...

Marlon Brando and Paul Newman give my daughters the vapors. They know context.

Casey Klahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Klahn said...

Bigger than the milieu. You nailed it, there, Greg.

I'm a little older than you - I saw the GF movies in the theater. I'm glad you brought this mash-up, it works for me.

At my blog, I'm writing a post on history, now. The practice of history is falling apart, nowadays. I used to look down on my high school peers (and college) for not knowing their history. Now, I feel like screaming at them. Soon, maybe I'll be on your local overpass doing that.

Jewel said...

He was some kind of actor. That not only makes him somebody, but somebody else, too.